A pesky tricky /r/, a shy client, and an abandoned bag of tempura paint led me to the discovery of using pointillism in speech therapy today.
Pointillism is the art technique you trialled in elementary school and now ogle over in art museums---thousands of teeny tiny dots layered on top of each other to produce paintings with the subject shimmering in kaleidoscopic splendor. Just like a few dots won't make the picture take form---we need lots of trials for our target sound to take on a recognizable shape.
After some debate, my kiddo and I selected a rose and traced over a photograph from an image search for an outline. We set up tiny paint brushes and a palette of colors to choose from. For each correct production at the word level-my kiddo "banked" a dot, pausing each 10-20 trials to "cash in" the dots on the painting. We got 120 trials our first session. Wahoo! I allowed a few minutes after each series of drilling to fill in more "dots". Typically painfully shy, our painting session created a space for conversation and a physical representation of my kiddo's hard work that is build-able across sessions.
Want to try pointillism? Here's some tips:
1. Google image a few examples of famous works of art to describe pointillism. Paul Signac and Georges Seurat are a few big names.
2. Tempura paint is NON-TOXIC and (mostly) washable if planning to use with littles.
4. Use more rather than less paint on the brush so the dots have crisper edges.
5. Don't have brushes handy? Q-tips work just fine!
5. The edges of objects are usually a bit darker to make the final piece more realistic.
6. Coach your kiddo to use white or another color to make shades of the same color for some visual interest.
7. Alternatively, abandon all these rules and create your own masterpiece.